Note: A lot has happened, sorry if this is a little random.
Finally! After three days of travel and exhaustion, we arrived in Bukoba! We got in today (Monday) from the ferry at around 6 am Bukoba time. We arrived here from a 12 hour**** (not 8 as we previously thought) bus ride from Nairobi, Kenya to Mwanza, Tanzania. The bus ride was an experience that we never would have expected. There was a stretch of road that was littered with speed bumps and pot holes, with five miles that literally looked and felt like ski moguls. The bus driver did his best to maneuver the big coach bus around the bumps.... It was a rickety ride to say the least. At some parts it felt like we were going to roll....but we didn't. J It also took a while because of the many speed bumps and random stops along the way. There would be random speed bumps that seemed like they served no purpose or need. Also, random stops delayed the ride. At one stop, Dan and I (Paul) got out to find a bathroom. It was a little sketchy, but we found it and got back on the bus. We got to the Kenya/Tanzania border at around 6am on Sunday. It was still dark as we crossed the border. We had to get out of the bus and walk across the border on foot. We were helped out by a nice Tanzanian woman we met on the bus named Mauwa. She made sure that we didn't get ripped off and helped translate.
After we crossed the border the sun came up. This allowed us to see the beautiful country of Tanzania. The ride was much smoother on this stretch of the route. The country was astounding: there were green covered mountainous hills and rocks, along with straw huts. The people were out and about early in the mourning, and sometimes they were on the tops of the mountainous rocks. It was a really cool sight.
We arrived in Mwanza tired and hungry. We met Hamza at the bus stop, and he drove us to the hotel (just to keep our bags for the day) where we got food. I ordered the Chicken (Kuku) and Ugali (a flour and water mixture that looked sort of like mashed potatoes, but much more dense). We toured the town, and tried not to fall asleep waiting for the ferry. Finally we boarded the ferry and got some food. We went to sleep shortly after finishing dinner. The rooms were a little cramped and smelly, but there was a bed to sleep in. We slept for most of the night, and arrived in Bukoba at around 6 am (Monday). We met William and he drove us to his house where we were going to stay.
When we arrived, William's friend Peter made us Mexican Omelets with toast, which were amazing. We hung around and talked until 1pm, when we went to the market to buy some things. Walking down, we could here the locals saying "Mzumgu," which means white person. All the towns people were very friendly, and sometimes we get 8 or so young children who just walk around and follow us. They are all really cute and friendly.
We ate lunch at the house (PB and J) and just hung out. We went back into town to exchange money and send e-mails. We came back and ate dinner from a stand outside of William's bar. Everyone had Chips mayai (omelet with potatoes wedges). We hung around in the bar and had a few drinks. The bar is built into the side of a rock wall and looks like a cave...really cool. We are all tired so we went to bed after that. Tomorrow we are going to go to the hospital to talk about viewing surgeries and to Mr. Raza to talk about the water project. We are all really excited to get started on the projects.
Talk to you soon,
Paul Stadem and BWB